Creating a Collaborative Culture in 3 Ways
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”- Michael Jordan
The every-man-for-themselves approach to the workplace has been around for ages. With each individual putting forth their best effort while withholding to ensure their abilities outshined that of their teammates… The notion that only one can be the best has outlived its usefulness. Good leaders know that the key to managing a successful team begins and ends with collaboration. Fighting the old notions can be tough, but with a few practical steps creating a collaborative culture can be as easy as 1, 2, 3.
1. Create tools that foster a sense of collaborative communication.
Good ideas abound in every organization and oftentimes the best of ideas can come from the most unlikely of sources. Offering a streamlines approach for proposals and product innovation can give all employees the ability to let their ideas be heard. The Defense Advance Research projects Agency (DARPA) created a simple set of questions called the Heilmeier Catechism to evaluate proposed research programs. This allows anyone to weigh in on projects or propose solutions to problems in an organization.
2. Vet and Refine ideas collectively and continuously.
In nimble organizations (add hyperlink to Nimble organizations article), ideas are constantly reviewed and refined. Gone are the days of only senior committees reviewing ideas for growth only once or twice a year. To stay relevant in the marketplace, an organization should strive to be nimble. This collective vetting process that can move forward great ideas for innovation while quickly eliminating ones destined for failure allows an organization to grow and expand faster and with greater insight. Organizations who focus their sights towards this new agile approach to innovation tend to find greater success in their market share and have a greater retention of employees due to the collaborative nature of being heard, valued, and utilized.
3. Burst through barriers that block innovation.
Back in the 1970’s a commercial hit the T.V. airwaves of a giant pitcher of Kool-aid bursting through all sorts of things to bring about the quenching of kids’ thirst. Take that image and place in in your organization. Anything that builds up a barricade and stops the flow of ideas, concepts, and innovation needs to be torn down, a la Kool- aid man style. In agile companies, leaders no longer stand between the innovators and implementation as a gatekeeper. Instead, they view the organization in reverse and respect the notion that those working closest with their clients and consumers oftentimes have a better pulse on better ways to serve and produce products the client will invest time and money in. Ultimately viewing collaboration in this way allows for a greater sense of open communication, faster to market strategies, and a quicker death to projects destined for failure.
With these simple three steps, any organization can make a positive turn towards a collaborative culture. Contact us to learn more about fostering a collaborative culture in your workplace or learning the skills needed for Nimble Leadership. Great leaders are armed with the tools to recognize innovation and growth opportunities for success. Take the first step toward greatness today.